After receiving $100 million in funding in 2018, smartglasses maker Rokid is going the crowdfunding route to finance its latest product.
On Tuesday, Rokid launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund Rokid Air, AR smartglasses that serve as a virtual display by tethering not only to Android smartphones but also iPhones, iPads, desktop computers, and gaming consoles.
Weighing in at just 90 grams, the smartglasses include twin 4K displays and a BirdBath optical engine, which are capable of 43 degrees field of view (or the equivalent of a 120-inch display), 1800 nits brightness, and 75 Hz refresh rate. The device carries two high-definition directional speakers, a USB-C port for connectivity, and an array of sensors to detect movement, orientation, and proximity.
Similar to Lenovo's ThinkReality A3 smartglasses, Rokid Air uses the attached smartphone as a controller for the smartglasses, with multi-touch gestures enabling uses to navigate through the user interface.
And, in a neat trick benefiting the nearsighted, Rokid Air includes focus adjustment knobs that can correct vision (at myopia of -5.00 D or less), possibly avoiding the need to wear glasses when viewing content through the smartglasses.
While the suggested retail price for Rokid Air is $499, Kickstarter backers can pocket the smartglasses in Ruby Red or Starry Gray for as low as $319, with shipping slated for Nov. 2021. The campaign has already blown past its initial goal of $20,000 to fund the project.
With an attractive price and flexibility in connecting to a wide range of devices (though third-party accessories are necessary to connect to devices without a USB-C port), Rokid Air has the potential to serve as a stepping stone towards the mainstreaming of AR smartglasses through its limited functionality of mirroring content from smaller physical screens to larger virtual screens. However, lacking a camera to view its surroundings is a non-starter in terms of real spatial computing.
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